Barrington is an attractive community for seniors thanks to the variety of housing options that have become available over the years: Lake Barrington Shores, Park Barrington, The Arbors, and Shorely Woods, Greencastle of Barrington, The Garlands and Barrington Horizon.
The Garlands is ideally suited to those looking for a living option that provides continuing care. Lake Barrington Woods, Alden Estates of Barrington and Sunrise of Barrington all provide options for those looking for a more supportive living situation.
Living in the village itself is also appealing to seniors because of its pedestrian-friendly nature as well as access to the Metra line. The village and surrounding area provide a variety of shopping and dining choices; residents also enjoy access to outdoor activities in parks and forest preserves.
For 27 years, the Barrington Area Council on Aging (BACOA) has been the region’s primary organization to serve its growing population of seniors and caregivers, including family and friends. Given a choice, older adults often prefer to stay in their community and in most cases, in their own homes for as long as possible. BACOA helps make that choice possible, and strives to ensure that seniors can age in place by providing resources and information they need to make decisions on their health, their living situation and their personal care needs.
“We promote healthy aging through our educational programs, classes and support groups,” notes Joyce Palmquist, Executive Director. BACOA offers classes to help seniors understand and better manage chronic health conditions and educational programs that help seniors and their families navigate Medicare and Social Security. Its support and education groups help people with conditions such as Parkinson’s, low-vision or early-stage dementia learn more about their conditions and find ways to live better with them.
BACOA also provides opportunities for social interaction through its Monday lunch and activity program at the Barrington Park District, as well as various trips and outings the staff organizes or in partnership with others.
“We also work to help those who are caring for seniors, whether spouses, parents or friends,” says Palmquist. “Caregiving can be difficult and stressful, and our classes and programs help caregivers take better care of themselves and give them strategies and resources to help them better care for their loved ones.”
With the charm and luxury associated with the Barrington area, says Maureen Warren, Community Liaison at Eastgate Manor in Algonquin, it’s no wonder seniors are exploring this community for living opportunities.
“Not only are individuals drawn here to raise a family, live, and work here; retirees also desire to make the Barrington area their home,” Warren noted. With its warm, home-like atmosphere and varied living accommodations, seniors are investigating independent, assisted and now supportive living communities in the region. The Barrington region not only attracts older adults who have assets but those on a reduced fixed income, and Eastgate Manor Supportive Living offers both.
BACOA continually works to get the word out to seniors, their families and the community at large about its programs and services. “I think we best meet the expectations of seniors and others in the community through our consistency people know that we are here and that they can call on us when the need arises,” says Palmquiest. “We have a base of services that has been consistent over the years, but we have also added new services when we have identified new needs or concerns.”
David Loop, Executive Director at The Garlands of Barrington, believes that the quality of life and friendliness of the people here welcome seniors to the region: “It’s a humble nature that attracts those who seek a very meaningful and successful life as they age.”
Other amenities Loop believes attract seniors to the region are the wealth of resources available to them, quality dining, and the many events and activities through park district, religious and cultural organizations. The area’s philanthropic spirit is also appealing to many older adults who want to remain engaged in a volunteer capacity or financial support.
BACOA, he says, is a very highly professional organization that serves as a great resource to older adults and their family members. “With individuals living longer, adult children are happy when parents are in an environment of quality; they feel better knowing their parents are not only cared for, but also cared about. It’s unique here.”
BACOA frequently partners with other community organizations. “Even though Barrington doesn’t have a bricks-and-mortar senior center, we certainly have a wide variety of ways in which seniors can get involved in the community,” Plamquist points out, “working with other local groups to offer programs and activities, such as the Barrington Area Library, Park District, Hospice, and Palliative Care of Northeastern Illinois, Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital, The Garlands of Barrington, Barrington Giving Day and many local churches, including St. Paul’s United Church of Christ, St. Anne’s Project Hope and Lutheran Church of the Atonement.” The Meals with Wheels program is served by volunteers from many local churches as well as a number of service organizations, such as Barrington Junior Womens Club and the Barrington Breakfast Rotary.